June 11th, 2013
01:35 PM ET

Pope Francis: `Gay lobby' exists inside Vatican

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Pope Francis said a “gay lobby” exists inside the Vatican, a surprising disclosure from a pope who has already delivered his share of stunners, and a resurrection of church conflicts that had bedeviled his predecessor's papacy.

“In the Curia,” Francis said, referring to Catholicism’s central bureaucracy, “there are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption.”

“The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there,” Francis continued. “We need to see what we can do.”

READ MORE: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The "Vatileaks" scandal factored in Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV's shocking decision to resign earlier this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

Francis' enigmatic comments came during a meeting Sunday with CLAR, the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women, who head Catholic communities of priests, sisters and monks.

The Chilean website Reflection and Liberation, which focuses on Catholic theology, first reported Francis’ remarks. The Catholic blog Rorate Caeli translated the report into English.

A Vatican spokesman told CNN, "The Holy See Press Office has no official comment on the private meeting."

Gay and lesbian Catholic groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said, "structure, not sexuality, is the real issue."

"The church is a monarchy. Monarchs are unaccountable. So many monarchs are corrupt. This is true in both secular and religious institutions," SNAP said in a statement.

Other Catholics counseled caution about reading too much into the pope's remarks.

"We don't have any explanation of what 'gay lobby' means," said Rocco Palmo, a Vatican watcher who runs Whispers in the Loggia, a website on Catholic news and church politics.

"Naturally, some in the church will try to polarize or interpret this, but as the rest of us aren't pope, we still have to get further explanation," Palmo added.

Church experts say the Chilean report rings true since the wide-ranging conversation centers on concerns that Francis has made touchstones of his nascent papacy.

In contrast to the buttoned-up Benedict, Francis has earned an early reputation for speaking off the cuff, often ditching prepared remarks in favor of more informal conversations.

On Friday, Francis nixed his “boring” speech and instead took questions from young Catholic students. Asked by a little girl if he wanted to be pope, Francis laughed and said that only someone who “doesn’t love himself” would want the position.

Last month, the pope sparked a worldwide debate by suggesting that atheists might be able to earn a spot in heaven.

"He has said some things that would turn Benedict whiter than the papal vestments," Palmo joked.

Francis told the Catholic leaders on Sunday to focus on the poor, that the Vatican must be reformed, and joked that whoever wagered on his long-shot election as pope “won a lot, of course.”

But his comments on the "gay lobby" are likely to gain the most attention, especially in the West, where Catholic leaders have been mounting a fierce fight against same-sex marriage.

After Benedict announced his resignation in February, reports circulated that a “gay lobby” had forced his hand.

Cardinals appointed by the former pope to find the source of the leaks investigated high-level Vatican clergy involved in homosexual affairs who might have been vulnerable to blackmail, according to La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper.

La Repubblica reported that the cardinals found evidence of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican but gave few details about it.

"Some high level clergy are exposed to the `external influence' – what we would call blackmail – of lay people to whom they are connected through ties of a `worldly nature,'" La Repubblica wrote.

The Vatican blasted the newspaper reports as “unverified, unverifiable and completely false.”

Francis is one of the few Catholic leaders to have seen the Vatican report.

The so-called Vatileaks scandal led to Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, being convicted on charges last year of leaking private papers from the the pope's private office. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

'Gay lobby' behind pope's resignation? Not likely

John Allen, CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, has said it would have been odd if the Vatican report had not considered the possibility that "insiders leading a double life," including sexually active clergy, might be vulnerable to pressure to betray the pope.

“It seems a stretch, however, to suggest this is the real reason," behind Benedict's resignation, Allen said.

In one of his first actions as pope, Francis created a council of eight cardinals, including Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston,  to offer suggestions on reforming the Vatican.

“The reform of the Roman Curia is something that almost all Cardinals asked for in the congregations preceding the Conclave,” Francis said, referring to the meetings that led up to his election in March. “I also asked for it.”

But Francis said that he cannot promote the reform himself. “I am very disorganized,” he said, adding, “I have never been good at this.”

Instead, the pope said, he is relying on his eight appointed cardinals to move the reforms forward.

CNN's Richard Greene contributed to this report. 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • gender issues • Homosexuality

soundoff (1,872 Responses)
  1. richunix

    Ho-m-o-phobia and the Catholic Church seem to go hand-in-hand.

    Just going to have to wait and see

    June 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Homophobia is a bailiwick of most religions, I find.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  2. LeeCMH

    Now is time for the hateful Catholics to resume the Inquisition. Dust off the iron maidens, stakes for burning, and racks.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      And the comfy chair.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      no one ever expects the spanish inquisition

      June 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  3. JMorcan

    The supposed need for celibacy is a total fabrication of the Catholic church. Jesus never said we should do this.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      He told his apostles to give away all their possessions and leave their wives and families, so yes he did.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Shhh! It doesn't matter what Jesus actually said. It only matters what I want Jesus to have said.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Exactly. Know what Jesus said about gay people: nothing.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Matthew 19:12
      For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Pete

      "Matthew 19:12"

      That scripture has nothing to do with what the original poster was talking about. This is another great example of why Christians are so stupid to cherry pick the bible.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      It does seem to have something to do with what the original poster was talking about. I agree that Jesus did not require celibacy.
      In context this is Jesus’s response to his disciple’s question, if we can’t get divorced if we are displeased with our wives would it be better not to marry? He doesn’t answer directly but is basically saying it is ok for those who able to be celibate to do so, but not to just avoid divorce.
      If you have another understanding please share. Thanks.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  4. Colin

    I wonder how long it will take us as a species to get to the point where nobody gives a sh.it about what people who still believe in Greco-Roman Jewish mythology think about social issues.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      another 100 years tops in my opinion. Maybe 50 years most people will realize its bs, but itll take a little longer for the super-indoctrinated (mormons, southern baptists, amish, etc.)

      June 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I think if history has taught us anything it's that people want or even need to follow, need a leader where they can put all the virtues they believe in onto this person or being. Whether it's a god who perpetually loving and kind (even when he's not) or someone like George Washington who was a giant of a man, never made a mistake, was the perfect leader, etc...

      I'm an avowed atheist but I confess that if Geroge Washington were to come back tomorrow I would probably throw all logic out the window and follow that man like a puppy dog.

      To answer your specific question, we, as a species, will probably get over the specific abrahamic god sooner or later, but sadly it'll be replaced with another being who's larger than life whether real or imaginary so we as a species will always have something to strive towards, always try and acheive perfection.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles –

      One of my favorite quotes...brief and to the point –

      Grown men don't need leaders.

      -–Edward Abbey


      June 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Chuckles, I disagree. Once the older relgiions die out, its going to be too difficult to get the masses to beleive in some nonsense again, since we have videocamera's and interent now. It will be too easy to debunk then next big religion. What religion has going for it now is age and tradition.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • hmmmmm

      " It will be too easy to debunk then next big religion. What religion has going for it now is age and tradition."

      I don't know look at Scientology.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • hmmmmm

      Or look at the New Age religion

      June 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      God is eternal

      June 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Good points. I cant explain scientology. Although its probably just a money making scheme that pays celebrities to endorse it. Also, their membership numbers are definitley inflated. You ever met a scientologist?

      June 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • LOL!

      "God is eternal'

      Prove it..... oh wait you can't.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      Robert: God is mythological. When the last believer dies, so does god.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @ReligionIsBS –

      Scientology uses pseudoscience to make it appear reasonable. I doubt any of the major religions, if introduced today, could gain much traction in the developed world, at least among the well educated, without employing similar subtrifuge. Scientology is a shining example supporting the need for education in science and critical thinking.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I'll pipe in and agree there are religions like Scientology out there that have cropped up in the modern age that have shown people are just as easy to trick into following a leader.

      Also, look at a place like North Korea where people worship Kim Jung Un. – Obviously thats a rather poor example due to the regime, the fear and the restriction on technology, but it illustrates the point that people don't need an invisible god to worship if they have a living one instead.

      I personally am for a more active approach to trying abolish religion, non-violently of course (as that's shown the cognitive dissonance of people doesn't work and when you ban something it makes people want to believe it more). We can't just wait for a religion to die out and hope people see reason. There are too many people who are more than happy to fill the vacuum with other nonsense before reason can take hold. It's up to each and every one of us to disseminate knwoledge as much as possible and teach critical thinking.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I also have met a Scientologist and it was absolutely heartbreaking. He was fine saying he was a scientologist, but immediately clammed up the moment anyone began even trying to discuss the basic ins and outs of scientology.

      It's one thing I've never understood. Most christians are fine saying their christians, but like sceintologists, get embarrassed in social situations when asked if they actually believe that jesus, a living a breathing human being, walked on water, turned water into wine, etc...

      Most adherents are completely fine discussing the abstract parts of what makes them a christian. They say they believe in god because of love, beauty, coincidence etc... but when pressed about the physical impossibilities they shy away from it and say it's supposed to be figurative and moral teaching stories.

      It just shows how insecure most followers are in their beliefs and the double think that's rammed into them at an early age. In a way I almost have more respect for the creationist and hardliner fundementalists who will at least embrace the craziness fully. At least they don't have to lie to themselves in order to reconcile their beliefs with reality on a daily basis

      June 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Robert Brown

      God is eternal
      Which god, there are many? Once you identify the particuar god, prove it.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  5. palintwit

    Why is it everytime someone mentions Sarah Palin I think of slope-headed inbreds with more guns than teeth? Trailer trash goobers who wear beany-copter hats and drink out of mason-jars. Low lifes whose idea of a night out is taking their cousin to a Chick-fil-A. ( I also think of nascar )

    June 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • ROFL the Dog

      Good one!

      June 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  6. BradKT

    Looks like the athiests and gays have hijacked this thread.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • LOL!

      No, Christians know they are on the losing side of the gay debate because of their unfounded bigotry and hatred.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Atheists always dominate this page because it is impossible for christians to defend their ridiculous religion.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      When people say Christians can't defend their religion I always remind them of the Crusades.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • sam

      Yes, the Crusades was the last time christians were able to defend any position.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  7. ron

    Is there a "gay bar" in the "gay lobby" of the Vatican

    June 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • hrh

      Most likely. But, there is the largest bath house in Rome (Italy? Europe? Can't remember which.)

      June 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • ROFL the Dog


      June 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    All religion is a cancer of the human race. Our only chance of survival is to be rid of it.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Science

      Maybe the dinobird will swoop down and take bill and the ICR ,RCC and the Discovery Insti-tute away.

      Evolution again the Dinobird.............no god(s) needed.

      X-Rays Reveal New Picture of 'Dinobird' Plumage Patterns
      June 11, 2013 —


      June 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      If we get rid of religion, we'll just kill each other over something else. It's human nature. Anyway, strip away the fundamentalism and it isn't so bad. It has kept the Plebs in check for millenia.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Salero21

      More evidence of the stupidity of atheism, atheism is stupidity in Full bloom.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Really?

      "More evidence of the stupidity of atheism, atheism is stupidity in Full bloom."

      That's why the data has shown that atheists live happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. It's also why countries that are becoming less religious are also showing the people are happier, healthier and smarter than countries that are super religious.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • yadin

      No kidding! Are you Lenin's disciple?

      June 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      More evidence of the stupidity of salero21, salero21 is stupidity in Full bloom.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Salero21

      The hom.os will give you all the butt flu.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • .

      "The hom.os will give you all the butt flu."

      Sociologists and psychologists hold that some of the emotionality in prejudice stems from subconscious attitudes that cause a person to ward off feelings of inadequacy by projecting them onto a target group. That's right folks homophobic people like this are just insecure and immature.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Really? wrote, "That's why the data has shown that atheists live happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. It's also why countries that are becoming less religious are also showing the people are happier, healthier and smarter than countries that are super religious."

      Data? Show this 'data' to us all.

      As for countries of less religion being happier,,, you have become blinded! Show us your 'data' on this too!

      June 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  9. Jeffsf

    This is so typical of the Vatican. When you have problems, lets demonize a minority to rally the troops. I think they have gone through the roster of witches, heretics, Jews, and Muslims. Now they are going after the gays. I am sure they are stoking up the bonfires.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • be honest

      the vatican blamed gays for child abuse, then blamed the 60's,.. however avoided the worst crimes of cover ups. .. it's a disgusting church

      June 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So what are you saying? There are no gays in the Vatican or that they have no lobby?

      June 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      I think the Vatican IS their lobby. Closet queens prancing around in dresses

      June 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think it's funny when a so called proponent of gay rights resorts to stereotyping

      June 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      Billy Boy: Isn't that what the pious do? "Everybody is a sinner" is their bleat

      June 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      while we are at it, billy boy, let us know when your church pulls it's head out of the 15th century

      June 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I see you suffer from an advanced case.

      A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things,

      June 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      tell me, billy, i won't say a word....did the bishop not take you off for one of those "special" confessions? did you feel jilted? did you seek to be the bride of christ?

      June 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      "A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things,"

      like those who do not accept jeebus as a savior, or bow down to svck the pope's rooster?

      June 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  10. Knights Who Say...

    Scene 30

    [clop clop]
    ARTHUR: Old crone! Is there anywhere in this town where we could buy
    a shrubbery!
    [dramatic chord]
    CRONE: Who sent you?
    ARTHUR: The Knights Who Say Nee.
    CRONE: Agh! No! Never! We have no shrubberies here.
    ARTHUR: If you do not tell us where we can buy a shrubbery, my friend
    and I will say... we will say... `nee'.
    CRONE: Agh! Do your worst!
    ARTHUR: Very well! If you will not assist us voluntarily,... nee!
    CRONE: No! Never! No shrubberies!
    ARTHUR: Nee!
    BEDEMIR: Noo! Noo!
    ARTHUR: No, no, no, no - it's not that, it's 'nee'.
    BEDEMIR: Noo!
    ARTHUR: No, no - 'nee'. You're not doing it properly.
    BEDEMIR: Noo! Nee!
    ARTHUR: That's it, that's it, you've got it.
    ARTHUR and BEDEMIR: Nee! Nee!
    ROGER: Are you saying 'nee' to that old woman?
    ARTHUR: Um, yes.
    ROGER: Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say `nee'
    at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing
    is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under
    considerable economic stress at this period in history.
    ARTHUR: Did you say `shrubberies'?
    ROGER: Yes, shrubberies are my trade - I am a shrubber. My name
    is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
    BEDEMIR: Nee!
    ARTHUR: No! No, no, no! No!

    June 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Thinker...

      Utterly irrelevant, yet always fun.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      If you say this is not relevant I shall say "NEE" to you!

      June 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Thinker...

      Do your worst!!!!

      June 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  11. Dick Cheney

    A gay lobby in Vatican is the issue!? Divert and entertain is the game of this article. The Vatican is especially known for child sacrifice and abuse. Infiltrated by the jew many years ago, it still continues today. A Jesuit pope will be a murderer of Christians worldwide.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Margaret

      What? Child sacrifice? Infiltrated by the Jew? Huh??? This would be funny if not so hateful and ignorant. And, please, how about actually addressilng the article instead of spewing this garbage.

      It is good to know that Pope Francis is addressing the issue of any "lobby" in the vatican.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  12. JRNY

    So...this is coming from a VERY anti-gay poop. Look up his record in Argentina, especially when gay marriage was legalized there. So...you can only expect poop from a Poop. LOL!!!!
    Seriously though, is anybody really even catholic anymore? Doesn't the whole body of christ thing gross you out yet? I'd expect a whole bunch of these creepy people that are obsessed with zombies and vampires to convert to the catholic church, but that's about it. Surely third world countries are getting smarter.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  13. hypatia

    Vicious old perv swine

    June 12, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  14. William Cook

    Is the "gay lobby" adjacent to the "pedophiles cloak-room" ?

    June 12, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Right next to Dunce's Corner you should know that Billy

      June 12, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  15. victor

    what is the church , the wife of christ turning into? o good God please save your people.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Jim

      Save them from the influences of reason and fair-mindedness? Yes, we wouldn't want Christian organizations to start treating people fairly, would we?

      June 12, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • palintwit


      June 12, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Sam

      The Church is circling the bowl and won't be around much longer now that humans are waking up from their religious induced slumber and are flushing their old ignorant bigoted waste down the toilet.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      it's not turning into anything. it has always been a corrupt hateful organization

      June 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I'd pay to see that marriage consummated.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • JonathanL

      the wife of christ had to become a man so she could achieve immortality and the vatican has become a laboratory for perversion. the lobby for gays was just to keep them hidden. It is behind the back entrance and underground, but is it lavishly decorated once inside. I was led in once by one of the gays and he exclaimed 'oh the decore!' I am the keeper of the books. Once we regain control of the known world beware! It is still a capital crime to disagree with the papal doctrine. And if you have not converted yet, be aware we are the ones who invented 3rd degree torture as a means to enforce conversions. I have to go now my gaydar detector is beeping.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Bill

    I am done here because this is Pravda. I am surrounded by a bunch of Winston Smiths,

    John 8: 32

    June 12, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      See ya! Have fun at your KKK rally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look how much I mean what i'm saying by all of the exclamation points!

      June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Bill: Go fvck yourself

      June 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Me thinks Bill is doubleplusuntruthful.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  17. Alias

    I think we are misinterpreting what the Pope said.
    just because there is a gay lobby, that doesn't necessarily mean there are openly gay cardinals.
    After all, PETA has a loby in Washington, but that doesn't mean there are any animals in congress.
    -> sorry, bad analagy, but you see my point.

    June 12, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • ed dugan

      The entire catholic church is a "stream of corruption" lead by corrupt people and followed by intelectually corrupt parishioners.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Chuckles


      Terrible analogy but yeah, you're probably right. I bet it's more of a don't ask, don't tell policy within the walls. I'm sure the RCC is very aware why the priesthood is so enticing to gay men and if they did legitimately going on a witch hunt and root out all of gay cardinals they would lose a significant portion of their cardinals and A LOT of face.

      I bet the "gay lobby" are just, supposedly, forward thinking cardinals who realize that gay rights is fast becoming socially acceptable around the world and the RCC is going to need to update their policy soon or face a lot of flack from the Western world.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Jim

      And there may be liberal cardinals who are in favor of ordaining women. You don't have to be gay to see that they're being treated unfairly.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Based on the preceding comments I'd like to offer the following; The Catholic Church has well established theology supporting both the case for a male only clergy and for the innate disorder of seex outside of sacramental marriage between one man and one woman. Whether you agree or disagree with the theology is academic. The fact is the theology exists. Unless someone can describe a similar theology of why gaay relations are not disordered and why women should be clerics, I'm afraid such a theology does not exist. Bear in mind, I'm not talking about civil rights or gender equality. I'm talking about the theological structure on which the entire church rests. I simply don't see how it can be overturned and I have yet to hear any serious arguments justifying that.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • JMEF

      Bill Deacon
      The theology exists but could you explain why such an unnatural theology was developed? Why should men take the unusual stance of being celibate and why are women are relegated to second class status in the church? Try and be honest in your explanations Bill, for a change.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Bill Deacon

      You are absolutely right in this regard. There are sound theological arguments to be made for all of that. However it's been clear for a while now that christians only to choose what sort of dogma they choose to follow in order to update with the times.

      Is there a theological argument to be made against ho.mose.xuality? Sure, I've seen Leviticus quoted more times than good night moon, and yet there are many christians sects out there who also point out that Leviticus is one of the things that Jesus "fulfilled" and thus doesn't need to be followed.

      There's enough wiggle room that the bible has within it that it's technically theologically sound to hold both positions and still be in line with gods will. If the RCC wants to update itself and join the 21st century, embrace women's and gay rights, all the pope needs to do is "have a chat with god" point to some passages in the bible and voila, ho.mose.xuality is, well not embraced by any means, but certainly more accepted than it is currently.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • RaRaRasputin

      Bill, based on your comment, I would like to offer the following; We don't give a rats ass what you would like to offer.

      Happy hump day!

      June 12, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Chuckles


      To be fair, what Bill pointed out is that your questions about being able to explain why that theology exists is more academic and has less to do with theology.

      In a way, he's simply stating that he doesn't need to rationalize theological arguments because the bible doesn't need to rationalize itself more than "the bible is true because the bible is true".

      Asking a believer to rationalize their belief outside of their religion, to take a objective stance on their own holy book is sort of like telling a robot to turn itself on.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • JMEF

      Hard to be fair when replying to Bill. Just to point out that the bible nowhere points to celibacy as requirement for the clergy, the practice was begun to protect the wealth and power of the mother church that became some sort of ridiculous show of obedience to the Vatican. Subjugation of women has always been part of the RCC dogma and is biblical; I just do not see how the ladies put up with the barefoot and pregnant requirement for all those years. Of course most of the free thinking women use contraception against the church dictates.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Let me see if I can clarify a few points. The easiest first. Celibacy is not dogmatic. It is disciplinary. Many church leaders have stated that the enforcement of celibacy could change. It's improbable but the chance does exist.

      Additionally, I'm not making the argument that the theology of the Church is right, in this case. I happen to believe it is right but that is not relevant to my argument and could be discussed at another time. The point is that the catechism which supports the theology that the family is comprised of a man and a woman and a child does not support the notion of a man and a man, or a woman and a woman and no theologian that I have encountered is making that argument. You may think that the theology is composed willy nilly but I assure you it is not. I think it's funny that when I bring up this topic the comments consistently focus on how the Church is this or that but no one ever composes the supporting dialogue for hom0s2xuality as theologically sound. If the argument cannot even be made, how do you expect the Church to adopt it?

      As to women clergy, that would violate another dogma. The church is the temporal expression of the bride of Christ. She is our mother Church. By her very nature, she is feminine. The priest, is the representation of Christ himself in sacrificial love to the bride. In order for women to become clergy, you would first have to create the theology that somehow allows for either Christ to become the feminine or the Church to become the masculine. At which point you figuratively eliminate the life giving essence of male/female relationship and contravene a third dogma of the Church which is that life is sacred.

      This is why people tell you that the hom0s3xual "lobby" is symptomatic of a death culture and why the Church will not change these dogmas.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Sam

      "I'm talking about the theological structure on which the entire church rests. I simply don't see how it can be overturned and I have yet to hear any serious arguments justifying that."

      Bill is right, it's corruption goes right to the foundation of the Church which should be torn down leaving not a stone upon a stone. The only way to get rid of the disgusting thing in the Church is to burn it down leaving no trace of that old world religious sadist. Don't worry Catholic Church, you will not be missed.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Chuckles


      Fair enough


      Like I said, you are right that theology supports the closed and narrow-minded view of family, what ho/mose/xuality is and its stance on women's rights. It would be very difficult to find the outright contradiction saying that the bible is both completely 100% opposed to ho.mose.xuality and at the same time supports it.

      However, like I stated above, the church has a long history of cherry picking certain catchisms and strictly following certain aspects while writing off others.

      For instance Leviticus has been used to hammer home the point that people aren't crazy about ho.mose.xuality, yet when it comes to sowing different seeds in the same farm, or wearing clothes with different materials or hell, even eating pig, the church has turned to jesus to say that he's fulfilled the law and thus you don't need to follow those rules anymore.

      The church doesn't need outright support from the bible to change its mind on certain issues of the day, there are already caveats within the bible that help them gloss over the stuff that was socially acceptable but isn't anymore.

      Specifically for ho.mo.se.xuality. The church has dug itself to big of whole to ever fully, 100% embrace ho.mose.xuality, it simply can not. However, that doesn't mean the churches stance on it can not change so that as gay rights keep progressing, the church can start to preach loving your fellow man, no judgement on the sinner, we're all gods creations, if a man chooses to be with another man, that's his right and if he asks forgiveness god will forgive him, etc.... It's all about framing here.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Your best tactic would be to follow ratsputin's lead and declare the Church irrelevant to your life and go live the way you want to. You'll wear yourself out trying to change the truth.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Chuckles, I think you oversimplify when you say the Church cherry picks Scripture to do whatever it feels expedient. I don't doubt that some individuals are prone to that.

      As far as how the Church treats gaay people, i would point you to the recent Boy Scout decision and the response from Bishops in the U.S. Our own local Boy Scout troop is decidedly in favor of the national organization's policy and has the backing of the parish folks who contribute and support the troop and it's charter. I maintain that the "Church hates gaays" cry is a canard and I would point to the presence of gaay clergy as support for my statement. The fact is that the Church does not hate gaay people. We do however recognize the difference between life affirming and flesh seeking.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I'm sorry, did you think at any moment I was a christian? If so, you entirely wrong sir and I thought we were going to keep personal opinions out of it. You added in for a second how you felt. My two cents are of course that you are entirely wrong, closed-minded and going against everything your christ has told you to do by simply not loving your fellow man in every regard.

      However, theologically speaking I've shown you how the church can change stances on a particular issue without redefining what they believe in as "truth" nor did I at any moment try and show you how the bible fully endorses ho.mo.se.xuality. It clearly does not. I just pointed out how theologically the church can update with the times without changing the truth but just spinning another plate and trying to make believers stop making the gay rights thing an actual issue.

      In the near future, you and your ilk are going to lose. Gay men and women will receive the rights they want and they'll gain acceptance in society the way that the liberated woman has, the african-american and the forgiener has. Sure, there will be people who still disagree with them but they'll be relegated to the likes the outdated KKK and generally looked down on by the main body of society as backwards bigots. If the RCC wants to move forward with the times and appease is billion + followers the thing to do would be to accept their gay brethern as sinners like everyone else and instead of actively opposing gay rights, just simply not do anything.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I realize your initial comment might not have been directed at me so I might have reacted a little hastily.

      I might oversimplify a little, but not by much. It's how the church operates, though it's not as cynical as I am and the men there truely believe they go through spiritual transformations before coming to decisions that effect the churches change in policy.

      On how the church treats gay people: The policy is pretty clear that they find ho/mose/xuality reprehensible. Sure, you can pretend like the church isn't a driving force in restricting gay rights or that their treatement of gay people is more on the "tsk tsk" side and less of the "burn em!" side, but you would be wrong. The churches stance has long allowed for catholics worldwide to discriminate against gay people and pretend its out of love. It's the same way that the churches stance for a long time blamed jews for killing christ, but they still "loved" them all while the believers on the ground chanted "christ killers" has they hanged a couple of jews.

      The Vatican these days strives to be seen in only benevolent light so their words, although firm and clear, try and absolve their involvement in the more violent parts that obstruct gay rights, but they're also curiously absent when those things occur.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Chuckles, No, I've never mistaken you for a Christian, I'm sure to your relief. I thought we were having a decent conversation and I while I'm capable of a sarcastic retort, i haven't aimed one at you today. You, are of course, free to reject any ideas including the Churches that you want to but I disagree that you've shown how the Bible (and by extension I presume you mean the catechism) would support hom0s3xuality. So while the culture "progresses" towards the consequences of its choices, I suspect that the Church will continue to sincerely announce the teaching it discerns as Gospel truth for those who can hear it. I will say that I among many others will be astoundingly surprised to hear a papal bull or ex cathedra statement along the lines you suggest.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  18. John

    Isn't "gay" lobby another way of saying "realist" or "scientific" or "human" lobby?

    June 12, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Jorge Jimenez

      Or the God-loving lobby as opposed to the God-fearing, judgmental, discriminatory, non-inclusive lobby.

      June 12, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • ME II

      I wouldn't think so, no.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Sam

      It should be called the peoples lobby.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  19. tjp44

    exactly why the Catholic Churches numbers have fallen....no one wants the gay/lsebo drama

    June 12, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Jorge Jimenez

      Yep, people want a loving church . . . a church that supports equality.

      June 12, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Jim

      Haggard wasn't drama enough for you?

      June 12, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  20. To Be Or Not To Be

    "MUST SEE! Atheist YTuber Thunderfoot CRUMBLES under Eric Hovind's Questions!. flv"

    June 12, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Never heard of anyone in this video, also don't care. Additionally, at the very first retarded thing it said, concerning logic/truth in the same sentence as Creationism... I turned it off. Don't waste your time with this stupid shit.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christians love to believe their own propaganda. It's just part of living in the cult bubble.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.